My name is Sterling, I'm 22-years-old, and I am the birthmother to the most gorgeous little boy in the world. I started this blog to share my experiences, thoughts, and help myself move forward after placing my sweet little boy. If this is your first time visiting my blog, I invite you to read my story (top of the left column). Feel free to comment with questions or requests. If you follow me, I'll follow you!

A Mother's Prayer (My Story)

I think I'm finally ready to post how the last five weeks have been. I may have to post just a little bit at a time, but I'm not sure if people really enjoy super-long posts anyway. :-)

David Allen Winn-Hutchinson was born at 5:31 pm on February 20, 2010. He weighed 8 lbs, 2 oz and looked like an alien. But, he was the most beautiful and perfect alien I've ever seen. The cord was around his neck, so we had to use the vacuum to get him out faster. Because of that, he had a cute little cone-cap on top of his head.

The original plan was to do something called kangaroo-care, a bonding process where the newborn is placed directly on the mother's bare chest directly from the womb. Skin-to-skin contact helps the newborn feel more secure with their new surroundings, and they will instinctively begin rooting, or searching for food. The idea is that the child learns to bond quickly and will latch to the breast more easily. Unfortunately, David was taken directly to the warming table to make sure he was okay after having the cord around his neck. I couldn't see him for the first five minutes of his life which, coupled with being in shock after giving birth, had me in a semi-panic. Ben and his mom had both been in the room and were over with him while my mom tried to calm me down and get me to focus enough to deliver the placenta.

Finally, Ben brought our little David over to me and I got to hold him for a few minutes before he was whisked away to the nursery. I cried. Partly from being in shock, but mostly because I knew my countdown had started. I only had 48 hours (at the most) with him, and I suddenly felt that it would not be enough. Just staring at and touching his face for those few moments after delivery filled me with an emotion I'll never be able to explain. Only another parent could possibly know the intensity of the love I felt.

The first night with David was like a fairy-tale. I felt like my world could not have been more perfect. I nursed him, held him, kissed him, and sang to him. A change came over both Ben and myself, and we both realized that all the fighting we had done during the past nine months had been so useless. It was so beautiful to watch Ben snuggle David, kiss him, and stare at him. He talked to him, told him stories, and gave him advice. That first night, while I tried to take a nap, I heard Ben cry for the first time. Somehow, that gave me comfort, knowing that I wasn't the only one of us that would struggle through this.

Sunday was busy. Too busy. It felt like we had a constant stream of people coming to see us. All we wanted was to be a family for a little while. The best visitors we had were Dave and Amy. I knew I wanted to see them, but Ben didn't want to see them at all (at first). It turned out to be a wonderful thing for Dave and Amy to come, because it reaffirmed our decision to place David. We didn't offer to let them hold him, although now we wish we would have. They told us then that his name was definitely David. It was obvious, even then, that they already loved and adored our little boy. He was meant to be their son.

We spent another night together as a family, and I sang to David just as I had while he was in my womb. It was hard to hold back the tears because I knew my time was getting shorter and shorter. I began to second guess myself, wondering if I would be strong enough to carry through with my plan. I reread my journal, I read my letters to Dave, Amy, and little David, and I prayed. I prayed harder than I had my entire pregnancy. I prayed for strength to do what was best for David. I know the Lord heard my prayers.

Monday was difficult, knowing I was placing that afternoon coupled with a nurse who definitely didn't give any warm fuzzies, and waking up to a doctor calling to tell me they wouldn't perform David's circumcision because it was an adoption, and they were worried about getting paid... well, my morning wasn't what I had expected it to be. I wanted nothing more than to snuggle up with David and spend my last hours with him whispering to him and praying he would be able to feel how much I loved him.

We drove straight from the hospital to the local LDS Family Services agency. Ben's parents, his sister, and my mom spent some time saying goodbye, then Ben and I got a little more alone time with David. We told him how wonderful the few days we spent with him had been, how much we loved him, and gave him life advice. I couldn't stop my tears from flowing.

My caseworker and the notary, along with my mom, came in to have me sign the relinquishment papers. I think the most painful thing I've ever gone through thus far in my life was signing the relinquishment papers. Ben held David while my mom held her arm around me. I couldn't breathe. As soon as I signed the papers, there was no going back. I closed my eyes, and with tears streaming down my face, I signed my name, silently begging for forgiveness from Heavenly Father, from little David, and from myself. I wanted to curl up and disappear. I had been a mother for two whole days, breastfed my sweet little boy to give him the best start, and then signed away all parental rights. I began to feel hollow as Ben placed David in my arms again, feeling as if my whole world was going to crack.

Dave and Amy walked in the room, and as Amy hugged me I felt a sudden peace come over me. I felt warm, and I felt that there were others in the room that none of us could see. The strength I found inside myself could only have come from my Heavenly Father. At that moment, I knew he was holding me, and would continue to carry me through. David began to wake up in my arms, and I asked if it would be okay for me to feed him one more time. I went into another room, and for 20 minutes nursed David one more time, and stared at his sweet face. He stared at the corners of the ceiling, tracking something... I was sure there were angels attending. Ben and I said goodbye to David one more time in private, and we went back into the room with everyone else.

My caseworker told me I would know and feel when the time was right for placement. I knew when that moment was.

I looked at Ben, and he nodded. I kissed my little boy's forehead, held him close to my chest and whispered that I loved him. I held him to Ben, and he did the same. Dave and Amy stood, and as I placed David in Amy's arms, she hugged me.

We held our son between us, and I wanted the moment to last forever.

Dave embraced me and whispered, "thank you, we love you".

I cried and kissed David as Amy held him. Then, as I sobbed onto my mom's shoulder, I looked at them. I had helped create an eternal family. David was already so loved by so many people. He had been a blessing in my life already, and I knew he would continue to be. I didn't see Dave and Amy with my son... I saw Dave, Amy, and their son... David Allen Harmon III. The most beautiful little boy I had ever seen, a little piece of heaven that God had trusted me to bring into this world.

"He is mine in a way he will never be hers, yet he is hers in a way that he will never be mine. And, so, together, we are Motherhood." ~ Desha Wood

"And, maybe, you can tell your baby when you love him so that he's been loved before... by someone, who delivered your son, from God's arms... to my arms... to yours." ~ Michael McLean


  1. Your story is're SO strong.

  2. Amazing Sterling! You are an amazing person and made the right choice for you and David!

  3. I was adopted when I was a baby. Reading these stories are so hard, but so amazing because I know my birthmom loved me so much she gave me the best parents I could have ever asked for. 21 years later, we met again, and she is the most amazing woman ever. I admire all you birthmommies. You are such strong women. I feel so blessed to have been raised by my adoptive family, and now have both sides of my birth family too. It's so awesome having so many people to love and be loved by. Adoption is amazing like that.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is wonderful to hear things from a birthmothers perspective (you don't get to hear that side of the story very often). I am so touched by your courage and selflessness!

  5. Hey,
    First off I just wanted to say, as i am sitting here watching nonetheless, 16 & pregnant, and reading your story I am reminded of what strength and love a woman must have to make the decision we did. You are incredible, and I hope you always feel that you made the most selfless decision you made. It hasnt been that long since you placed I believe, and I know that first year Is thee HARDEST. But know.. that it does get easier with time, you never stop thinking about them and you never stop loving him. BUT, you realize that your love made the decision. I am so proud of you eventhough I dont personally know you.

    Second off, thank you for your comment :) I am glad if anything that you have been able to read it!

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  7. Thank you so much for posting your story. I appreciate the honesty and emotion that you shared. It was touching and moving. I am an adoptive parent, and our son's birthmom has said many of the same things that you have. It just increases my love for you and other birth moms. You gave us a miracle, you gave us a family, and we'll never be able to thank you enough.

  8. Wow as a mother I am reading your post though tears. I can't imagine the pain and struggle you must have gone though that day. Your story is breath taking and beautiful. Also know your a strong and courageous woman to know and go though with placing your child. Knowing that you are giving him a blessed chance in life. Hugs to you and your family.

  9. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. My husband and I are hopeful adoptive parents ( and are so honored to read the blogs of so many wonderful birth parents, such as yourself. I think it is absolutely beautiful that you breastfed your son for those first few days. Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing so openly. Best wishes to you, Dana

  10. I was in tears reading this. You are so strong! We are hoping to adopt and I can't tell you how grateful I am for your strength to share your story, it's so nice (and heart wrenching) to read about adoption from a birth mother's perspective. You are wonderful. Thank you.

  11. Hello there,
    This is a truly beautiful post and it had me in tears. I adopted my little girl 5 months later. Ever since then, I have wondered about our BM on a daily basis... wondered what it is like for her. I told her on the day after Isabella was born that I would love her forever. There are no words to describe the love that us adoptive parents have for birth parents. Not enough words in all the languages.
    I would love to continue to read your blog so that I can try to gain some insight into what our BM might be going through as well.
    Thank you for sharing your story.

  12. Your story is truly beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing your story. My husband and I are just starting the process for adoption and I pray that there might be a birth mother out there just like you who will be so loving and gracious to help us grow our eternal family. Thank you for your story-it bring hope!

  13. Thank you for sharing your story so beautifully! I am excited to add you to my blog list (if that's OK) and continue to read about you and your family!

  14. I came across your blog and KNEW I had to add you! I started reading your story and was blown away by the courage you had to do what was best for your son. My husband and I have been waiting 74 days to be matched with our child through adoption. We can't wait to get THAT call saying a birthmother has chosen us to be parents to her child. You are a gift and your story will help so many families, both natural and adoptive, understand what adoption is really all about. Prayers for your journey...

  15. Wow, incredible, amazing, and inspiring story. TRUE example of love. I wanna say thank you. Thank you for choosing life and thank you for giving someone the opportunity to be a family. While I read the pain you endured, I can't fully expierence and relate to it, not being a mother yet. I can only imagine.....You are a strong, selfless, courageous, women and I am so thankful God lead you on the path he did. I'm so thankful he provided you with the comfort you were searching for. I always wondered if a birthmother knew 110 percent if the adoptive mother was "the one". I think you answered my question. Again, amazing story and I will definetly continue to ready about you. :)


  16. Your story has me in tears. You are so strong and has such a kind heart to think of your child. I am so thankful for you sharing your story and the emotions from a birthmother perspective.

  17. thank you for sharing your story, it has brought me so much strength as well as hope that my experience will be just as beautiful...
    xox al the best in the rest of your journey in life and watching your angel grow from a little distance!


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